3 Eastern European prime ministers heading for Kiev
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa arrived in Ukraine and are headed to Kiev, the Polish PM’s office announced on Tuesday.
“About an hour ago, the train of the prime minister, Deputy Prime Minister for Security Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovenia crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border,” the office tweeted.
The leaders are set to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kiev. The purpose of the meeting is to express the unequivocal support of the European Union towards Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, and discuss a broad package of support measures.
According to Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller, the meeting was agreed upon after consultations with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, for the purpose of sending “a strong signal for peace.”
Europe must send a strong signal for peace! Prime Minister @MorawieckiM, Deputy Prime Minister J. Kaczyński, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic @P_Fiala and Prime Minister of Slovenia @JJansaSDS are going to meet Ukrainian highest authorities. https://t.co/kDbNSCNAyL— Piotr Müller (@PiotrMuller) March 15, 2022
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to regularize the status of the regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.